Beside  the house,  the  cherry’s  flowering…

An illustration to a Ukrainian classic poem

Beside  the house,  the  cherry’s  flowering…

(“Sadok vyshnevyj kolo khaty”)

Beside  the house,  the  cherry’s  flowering,
Above  the  trees  the  May  bugs  hum,
The ploughmen  from  the furrows  come,
The  girls  all  wander  homeward,  singing,
And  mothers  wait  the  meal  for  them.
Beside  the  house,  a  family  supper,
Above,  the  evening  star  appears,
The  daughter  serves  the  dishes  here;
I t’s  useless  to  advise  her,  mother.
The  nightingale  won’t  let  her  hear.
Beside  the house,  the  mother  lulls
The  little  children  for  the  night,
Then she,  too,  settles  a t  their  side.
And  all  is  s till. . .   Only  the  girls
And  nightingales  disturb  the  quiet.

Taras Shevchenko
“Sadok vyshnevyj kolo khaty”
(“Садок вишневий коло хати”)

Translated by Vera Rich

Wimmelbuch – Search and find

This illustration was a personal project made in 2021.

I wanted to recreate the imaginary fantasy bubble I lived in as a child. 
Thus the world created here includes all types of fairytale and cartoons characters/scenes, Slavic mythology and children books creatures – all the magic that surrounded me growing up in a post-soviet Ukrainian province of 90s.

It is a blend of inspirations coming from local folktales, as well as internationally known fairytales, soviet cartoons and Slavic myths.

Below I’ll list all the references, let’s see if you can find all 36! 🙂

The list:

1. A dragon guarding his treasures

2. Witches having shabash on the Lysa Hora (Barren mount)

3. Witches riding brooms on the way to the shabash

4. A dragon attacking the castle

5. Rapunzel in the tower

6. Cinderella on her way to the ball

7. Cinderella’s shoe

8. Mermaids from Slavic myths

9. Mavkas (tree spirits) from Slavic myths

10. Princess frog

11. Red riding hood

12. Will-o’-the-wisp (ghost lights from myths)

13. Thumbelina

14. Queens’ roses from Alice in the Wonderland

15. Wild rose from Sleeping Beauty

16. Kotyhoroshko (a pea-sized superhero from Ukrainian folktale)

17. Flower from Beauty and the beast

18. Ugly duckling

19. Baba Yaga

20. Little straw bull (Ukrainian folktale)

21. The glove (Ukrainian folktale)

22. The fisherman and the magic goldfish

23. The duck (which laid and egg with the world, Slavic mythology)

24. The house with chicken legs

25. Ivasyk-Telesyk (a boy-fisherman from Ukrainian folktale)

26. Baron Munchausen

27. Puss in boots

28. The Enormous Turnip (folktale)

29. Fairy Tinker Bell

30. Kossak Mamay (Ukrainian legend)

31. Kolobok (running round bread from Ukrainian folktale)

32. Leshy (Old father of forest, Slavic mythology)

33. Old wise raven (Soviet cartoons)

34. A house made of gingerbread, cake and candy

35. The death of Koschei (god of death, folktale, his death is in the needle, hidden in the egg, hidden in the duck, hidden in the rabbit, hidden in the box, hidden on the tree)

36.  The beast stealing the moon (Gogol’s fairytale About Ukrainian village during Christmas Eve)

37. Dwarfs

Have you find them all? 🙂

Escaping reality


Twenty years ago I had a habit of diving into the imaginary worlds whenever I did not like something about the real one.

When it was boring, when atmosphere was not so good or when I was upset or disappointed – I just was escaping into that other world. It was fun.

From the outside I looked quite absent-minded during those trips into imaginary universe. I know it from the classmates – they used to name it my Astral.

Over time I lost this habit. A lot was going on as I was adapting to new life abroad, taking on international internships and learning to be adult. No time to float into alternative worlds.

As I started shifting back to creative path 6 years ago, one of the biggest challenges was actually to find that Door to the world of imagination. It took years. I learnt that skill anew, but it did not become as strong of a habit as it once was. It was a tool.

Until last month. When my home country got invaded and as I continued to observe the horrible reality of war at my doorstep, I once again took that Door for what it once was. Not the entry into the world of imagination, but the escape from the real world.

Art is the escape.

Stand with Ukraine

I have not thought I would get to experience this in my life.

The country which I love so dearly is on fire.

The past week was the longest in my life. It is heartbreaking.

The support of the World during this week was what helped to get through it. And it reminds me that despite of such horrible things like War humanity has also a lot of good things to offer.

Thank you, World, for standing with Ukraine ♥️

Windy days

Despite strong wind I had to spend a lot of time outside yesterday. The weather in Europe has been crazy in the past weeks and seems it will remain this way for a while.

I am just counting days until spring.